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My writing journey has begun. The road will have some bumps and detours. I only hope that the first hill is not too high, and the journey is long.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Books With Cookies And Milk (43)

The Keeping Quilt

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

By:  Patricia Polacco

     Patricia Polacco's classic tale "The Keeping Quilt" manages to blend, family, love, tradition, the cycle of life, and the events in one family which are anchored by just one thing: the family quilt.

     “The Keeping Quilt” is made by the immigrant great-grandmother and her quilting bee friends, the quilt is compiled of scraps of fabric from little girls' dresses, the aprons of aunts, and so on. All come together to form a beautiful quilt which features dancing animals, swaying trees, and all manner of beautiful ornamentation. “The Keeping Quilt” is used as a quilt, a tent, a huppah at a wedding and a tablecloth.

     This is such a touching story about family and culture and change in the form of a Russian quilt that is passed down through several generations. The art is lovely, black and white with only the quilt colored.

Cinnamon Hot And Orange Quilt Cookies


2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1½ cups unsalted butter, cool room temperature (3 sticks)
1 cup sugar
finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cinnamon oil 
red food coloring (gel or liquid)
super-fine sugar 


1.In a large mixing bowl, sift flour and cornstarch. Reserve.

2.In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, orange zest, and salt. Add vanilla and cinnamon oil, and incorporate.

3.Add the flour mixture and mix on very slow speed very briefly, just until a dough forms.

4.Remove the dough and weigh it. Add half the dough (by weight) back to the mixer and incorporate a few drops of red food coloring.

5.Form each portion of dough into a 12-inch long by 2¼-inch wide by 1-inch deep log. Wrap in plastic wrap and frig for at least 2 hours. (Yes, I had the help of custom made metal forms.)

6.When the dough is very firm, remove from the frig. Using a long thin knife, cut each log exactly the same into several lengthwise sections. Reassemble each log to its original size by swapping alternate sections with opposite colored dough strips. Press the strips tightly together without distorting the shape of the log. 

7.Rewrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill again for at least 2 hours, or as long as a couple of days.

8.When you are ready to bake, remove one log at a time from the frig and slice cookies widthwise into ¼-inch thick slices.

9.Arrange cookies, ½-inch apart, on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle with super-fine.

10.Bake at 325° for about 20-22 minutes, rotating pans at the halfway point to ensure even browning.

11.Remove from the oven, immediately loosen each cookie with a thin spatula, and set on a wire rack to cool.

12.Store airtight in layers, each layer separated by wax paper, in a cookie tin, in a cool, dry place. These cookies improve with age. They keep for 3-4 weeks.

Makes about 8 dozen, 2½-inch by 1½-inch cookies.

Don't Forget The Milk!


Patricia T. said...

One of my very favorite Polacco books. Took my daughter to a book signing and presentation by Patricia Polacco in the early 90s. She read her book, showed the real quilt and how she used it as a tent, shawl etc when she was a child. It was a magical. Still have the original autographed copy, but got an updated one years later. One of favorite books to give to girls.

Perfect cookie recipe to accompany the book.

Mimi said...

Beautiful book, lovely story.
And the cookies sound wonderful, I'm looking forward to baking some of them! Oh, and to eating them!

Maeve Frazier said...

Patricia - Oh how I wish I was at that book signing. Lucky for you and your daughter!

Mimi - It is a lovely story! Welcome back busy lady and traveler!!